You Inc. The Notion of Self Branding

October 25, 2007

A great article today that I found that deals with branding yourself. With all the competition out there it is so important to set yourself apart. Self promotion is NOT a bad word, I promise.

Developer (and web worker) Rob Walling has published his take on the subject in his article Self-Marketing for Software Developers. Based on his years in development and management, he offers 3 rules for marketing your own skills so that you stand out of the pack. even though he’s writing for software developers, the rules can be widely applied by any smalll business with a web presence. Here’s a quick overview; refer to Rob’s original article for more depth.

Rule #1:Self-Marketing Rule #1: It’s a sad statement, but even from early on in your career, knowing how to market yourself will do more for your earnings and reputation than becoming better at what you do. This is not a license to be a crappy developer, but an imperative to become a better self-marketer.

Don’t believe it? Think about the all people in your industry who make more money and are more famous than you. Do they really know more than you? Did they just get lucky? Or were they savvy about how to promote themselves? Sure bet: the promoter. This can be a tough truth to accept, particularly when you’re new in a field and still think superior knowledge will conquer the world, but the sooner you realize that marketing is important, the better.

Rule #2:Self-Marketing Rule #2: Start now. It will take a long time to get going (think years, not months), and the sooner you start the sooner you’ll reap the rewards.

Building your blog circulation, getting people to notice you, building your social network, working your way on to the speaker list at conferences can take some time. If you put it off until next month or next year, someone else who didn’t put it off is going to blow you away. That is unless you have really good promotion techniques. I like the fast track myself.

Rule #3:Self-Marketing Rule #3: If you have an exceptional talent, market yourself through exceptional means. Don’t play the game everyone else is playing.

How many blogs are out there today? Just having a blog isn’t marketing any more; you need to do something different. Set yourself up as the expert on some subject, blog relevant articles on a regular basis, and mail the links to everyone who might be remotely interested: then a blog is worthwhile. Or use social networks or video links or something even more innovative. The goal of marketing is to set yourself apart; you can’t, by definition, do this if you insist on doing exactly what everyone else does.

There is a little more to this but by using every means necessary to spread the work about yourself will pay dividends that are well worth the effort.

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